The first time we visit churches together was our first go-round in New York right after we got married. Back in the day we would both be dressed and ready to go well before the appointed church departure time. Now I'm throwing pillows at Christopher's head when he's still laying in bed 15 minutes before we need to leave.
But that's neither here nor there.
That particular part of New York has many many small churches. Most of them were attended by people over the age 65. Needless to say, as a young couple we didn't exactly fit in. One church with all of 20 attendees had us stand up so the whole congregation could see us. As if we didn't stand out enough just by being there. Another church gifted us with chocolate and a coffee mug with the creepiest picture of Jesus you've ever seen. Nothing says ''we hope you'll join us again!" like giving guests a picture of Jesus looking like a monster who'd hide in a child's closet. Another church gave me the memorial flowers from a funeral the day before. How sweet. Upon hearing we just got married, an elderly woman invited us over her house so she could give us some silverware. She was tired of waiting for her children to pick it up and apparently we looked like people who wanted a new cutlery set.
Things were only slightly better when we got to Fort Lee. When we tried the chapel on post, they gave Christopher a microphone so he could give the whole congregation a brief introduction. We didn't not select that as our church home. We ended up at a church where, again, the median age was 60. Almost everyone is the Sunday school class we were put in had grandchildren. Below is yet another example of why I choose not to open my mouth in public situations.
George (the SS teacher): "So Sarah, you're a military wife, right?"
George: "And sometimes Christopher goes out on training or to the field and you're left at home?"
George: "What do you do when Christopher's not at home?"
Me: (in my head- He really wants to know what I do? What am I supposed to say? I don't want to say that I read, eat, paint my nails, eat snacks, watch movies. Maybe I should say I planted a garden one time. Maybe grocery shopping is the right answer. Why does he want to know what I do??) "Ummm..."
George: "You hold down the fort, don't you? You make sure everything runs smoothly."
Me: "Oh. OH. Yes. That's right. That's what I do."
You can just call me eloquent. That was also the day the straps on my dress kept falling down so you can also call me full of grace.
Our Tennessee church experience was much better. We loved it so much. I cried a little on our last day there. Now we're back to the church hunt rodeo. We've visited so many but none have felt right. There was the church where Annabelle wouldn't sit still with us but she refused to go in the nursery. We snuck out of the building like sinners before the sermon even started. There was the church where AB announced during a quiet moment that she had pooped. There was the church that was so chaotic and unorganized I almost lost my mind. I wanted to grab the microphone and shout, "HOW HARD IS IT TO ALL STAND UP AND SIT DOWN AT THE SAME TIME? You people look like kangaroos in the desert." Not one of my more spiritual moments. A friend at MOPS invited us to her church so we've been there the last few weeks. The music isn't really our jam but overall it's not bad. The first week a lady on stage was playing 12 different instruments she seemed to have borrowed from the toddler Sunday school. One of the pastors was wearing jeans and sneakers with a button down shirt, vest and tie. Business of the top, party on the bottom.
We'll be back at it tomorrow. May the Lord grant us success.